The Determination to Serve

February 23rd, 2012 by Dave Leave a reply »

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve . . .—Matthew 20:28

Jesus also said, “Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). Paul’s idea of service was the same as our Lord’s— “. . . ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). We somehow have the idea that a person called to the ministry is called to be different and above other people. But according to Jesus Christ, he is called to be a “doormat” for others— called to be their spiritual leader, but never their superior. Paul said, “I know how to be abased . . .” (Philippians 4:12). Paul’s idea of service was to pour his life out to the last drop for others. And whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him. But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.
Paul’s understanding of how Christ had dealt with him is the secret behind his determination to serve others. “I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man . . .” (1 Timothy 1:13). In other words, no matter how badly others may have treated Paul, they could never have treated him with the same degree of spite and hatred with which he had treated Jesus Christ. Once we realize that Jesus has served us even to the depths of our meagerness, our selfishness, and our sin, nothing we encounter from others will be able to exhaust our determination to serve others for His sake.


Journal DJR
Good morning Lord,
Today’s music catches part of the written message very well … Do it anyway. Even when things aren’t working out the way we think they should. But it leaves the possibility that we are to grit our teeth and hang in there. This is the human way of serving people and we see many folks with good hearts doing just that. Oswald and Paul have a different perspective which changes everything. Dont just serve people … Serve God. And of course serving God will entail serving people, since it is the second commandment.

The difference in the core motivation will show up in how tired you get from your serving and how ready to go again you are upon waking.   Serving me from gratitude and love will energize you.  Serving people with grit and determination because you believe that it’s the right thing to do … will always leave you drained.


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